I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Ringo Shiina -- Ishiki(意識)from Heisei Fuuzoku (平成風俗)

"Ishiki" (Consciously) originally appeared on Ringo Shiina's(椎名林檎)3rd album "Kalk Samen Kuri-no-Hana"(加爾基 精液 栗ノ花...Kalk Samen Chestnut Flower), a release that I currently don't have in my possession. The original tune as sung by Shiina doesn't seem to exist anywhere so I don't know how it sounds.

However, I do have that amazing "Heisei Fuuzoku"(平成風俗)which was basically the soundtrack for the film adaptation of "Sakuran"(さくらん). It may have been the music for the rise of an oiran courtesan but not having seen the movie, I've kinda considered "Heisei Fuuzoku", the collaboration between Shiina and arranger Neko Saito(斉藤ネコ), as the singer-songwriter's full dive into jazz bringing in elements of Latin and even James Bond.

The album includes a jazz version of "Ishiki" which is neither Latin jazz nor the music backing Sean Connery as 007, but it's still a song of intrigue and high class. I don't know when "Ishiki" popped up in "Sakuran", but I imagine a scene of a quiet but intensifying cat-and-mouse chase in a huge mansion while a lavish ball is being held as this song is playing. The actual lyrics and their English translation were found on this site. The translation isn't 100% accurate but I've gotten the gist of it, and it seems to involve quite a tempestuous couple. For some reason, I keep getting images of the Joker and Harley Quinn. But wouldn't that be a movie...totally devoted to the toxic love between her and her Mister J...with some crazy jazz.

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